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Ways to Support Employee Career Advancement

Companies benefit from employee retention. Whenever an organization has to fill an available position, it exerts energy and resources toward finding the right person. Dozens of applicants with different skills and personalities have to be screened and tested before being invited to an interview. Then, when an employee is hired, they need to be trained.

Even with the grueling and time-consuming process of hiring and onboarding, there is a guarantee that the worker hired is right for the position. Even if they had the necessary skills to do the work, there are instances where they are not the right fit. Other factors should be considered, such as company culture and their ability to work well with others.

In most cases, keeping the employees that you already have is the more financially sound decision. However, employees will not stay within an organization where there are no opportunities for growth and advancements. Companies need to adopt strategies that will open doors for career advancement.

Encourage Innovation

Employees must feel supported, especially when they are trying to think outside the box. While not all ideas are good and should come to fruition, employees should still have the opportunity to voice out and pursue their ideas.

That is how innovation is born. When people are allowed to be creative and feel supported by everyone around them, they can create something incredible. Great leaders know this. Take, for example, Seah Moon Ming, the present chairman of Singapore’s SMRT. He once shared that he encourages the efforts of employees to innovate and be involved in the creation of patents. He also leads by example by publishing patents of his own ideas.

Google, too, has a program in which employees are free to dream of whatever product they want. It is called “X,” a moonshot factory where employees can pursue ideas that seem undoable but can one day change the world.

When a company fosters a culture of innovation, it can open opportunities for employees to take leadership roles. Their idea could lead to the creation of a new team with the employee at the helm.

employees closing a deal

Provide Training Opportunities

Everyone wants to improve their skills and mastery of their own fields, but not everyone has the opportunity to do so. It is challenging to seek self-improvement when you have a family. All the money and energy go toward taking care of the family. Hobbies and other activities take a back seat.

However, employees are more likely to sign up when the company encourages further learning. The company can pay for educational courses or give more (paid) time off to attend seminars or go back to school. Companies benefit when employees pursue self-improvement. They become more effective at their job and make more meaningful contributions. Employees who add credentials to their resumes are also likely to be promoted to a better position with better pay and more challenging work.

Many companies invest in their employees by paying for their tuition if they decide to pursue continuous learning. Deloitte, Apple, Wells Fargo, Intel, Bank of America, Ford, and AT&T are only a few reputable companies around the world that provide tuition assistance or reimbursement to employees who want to get an MBA.

Recognize Hard Work

There is nothing more demotivating than working hard for an employer that does not give recognition to the contribution of employees to the success of an organization.

For workers to have professional growth and development, they need to find satisfaction with what they do. Employers, therefore, should recognize when employees are working hard and reward them for their achievements. Sometimes, a verbal affirmation is enough. However, monetary gifts will be appreciated more.

Employees will seek to do better when they see that their hard work does not go unnoticed.

Provide Regular Feedback

Feedback is important to improve a person’s performance. However, it might not be too effective if it is given twice a year or annually. Most employees would rather hear continuous feedback in real-time so that they can immediately remedy mistakes and identify their weaknesses.

Knowing where they went wrong will lead to professional development. Employees will seek ways to improve their skills and know which areas they are not doing correctly. Employers need to develop processes wherein employees can get constant feedback for their work.

Companies that open opportunities for employees to climb the corporate ladder and achieve their professional goals benefit from higher rates of retention. Most people seek career advancement because it leads to job satisfaction. Not only will they get higher pay, but they also gain new skills and mastery of their field. Moreover, moving up to new roles ensures that their capabilities are always being challenged.

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